Cafe boss providing free lunches for children is ‘in shock’ after thieves broke in to steal food and cash
- Heidi Mather, 50, owns The Hidden Bakery in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire
- Thieves stole food and cash from the till and tip jar during break-in on Tuesday
- She said: ‘I am just in shock, it is hard enough now mentally and emotionally’
The owner of a cafe providing free lunches for children has revealed heartless thieves broke in and stole cash from the tip jar as well as food.
Heidi Mather, 50, who runs The Hidden Bakery in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, said the offenders also stole cash from the till during the break-in on Tuesday.
It comes as businesses across Nottinghamshire have been pledging their support to help feed families through the holidays by offering free lunches for children.
A campaign, launched by footballer Marcus Rashford, to continue the free school meals offering that was put in place during the summer was rejected during a vote by MPs.
But it has not stopped communities rallying to show their support by providing what they can to anyone who has fallen on hard times.
Heidi Mather (pictured), 50, who runs The Hidden Bakery in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, said the offenders also stole cash from the till during the break-in on Tuesday
Ms Mather said: ‘I am just in shock really, it is hard enough right now mentally and emotionally.
‘I see every day how difficult it is for people, and now with Tier 3 just around the corner, it’s a shame something like this has happened.
‘But it has shown what kind of community we have here, because everyone has pulled together and the response to the break-in has been absolutely amazing.
‘Everything we had has already been replaced, we have actually got more than we had before.
‘I shed a tear earlier when some children offered a few pounds to go back into our tip jar.’
With the help of other Eastwood businesses, more packed lunches have been put together ready for anyone to pick up from the café in Nottingham Road.
It comes as businesses across Nottinghamshire have been pledging their support to help feed families through the holidays by offering free lunches for children
Heidi added: ‘I have to say thank you to Hays Travel, Johnson’s Newsagents and the Tap and Growler pub for all their help.
‘We are due to reopen as normal tomorrow and the box with lunches will be outside in a waterproof box so you can just come and grab one – you don’t even have to come inside.
‘The burglary is not hugely important in the scheme of things, I feel quite lucky that they didn’t leave a mess – we have just had to re-sanitise everything to be safe.
‘We’ve just got to keep positive in these times.’ Carrie Derbyshire, landlady at the Tap and Growler said: ‘Around Eastwood and Hilltop there is a massive community of families and it has been a tough time for everyone.
‘The fact that someone could break in and take these donations is disgusting.
‘But I know Heidi will be undeterred and she’s wise enough to know this will have been done by small-minded people – it’s just a shame it could have been someone from within our community.
‘I sent over a few big boxes of crisps that I get for the pub.
‘We’re all really close-knit around here.’
A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said: ‘We are investigating a break-in at an address in Nottingham Road and would like to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious between 1.30pm on Sunday and 8.30am this morning (Tuesday).
‘If you have any information please call us on 101 quoting incident number 133 of 27 October.
‘You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.’